NFL Upset Alert for Week 4: Be Careful With the Patriots, Titans and Commanders

At this rate, we’ll have the college fund filled up in no time. Two of our three Week 3 Upset Alert teams cashed in, making it three straight profitable weeks for our NFL picks. The Miami Dolphins (+180 at the close) survived the Butt Putt to beat the Buffalo Bills 21-19; the Jacksonville Jaguars (+240) continued their early season success with a 38-10 romp over the Los Angeles Chargers.

Some of this is dumb luck, of course. But a lot of it has to do with the large number of public bettors who have joined the market this year. We expect to find plenty more underdogs to bet on in the weeks to come – including Week 4, where our options are virtually unlimited.

With that in mind, we should tell you that our actual Top 3 underdog picks (in terms of betting value) are the same three teams we have in our Week 4 Best Bets: the New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks, and Baltimore Ravens. But instead of rehashing those picks, let’s look at three more dogs who are worth betting on this week, even if the bet size should be a bit smaller in their case.


New England Patriots vs. Green Bay Packers

Sunday, October 02, 2022 – 04:25 PM EDT at Lambeau Field


Betting on Bill Belichick isn’t quite as automatic as it was when Tom Brady was his quarterback. But the 1-2 Patriots still have some fight in them; they’re No. 19 overall (No. 13 offense, No. 21 defense) on the Week 4 DVOA charts at Football Outsiders, only seven spots behind the No. 12 Packers (No. 9 offense, No. 19 defense).

Teams don’t get more public than 2-1 Green Bay. They’ve got the reigning league MVP in Aaron Rodgers, but Rodgers doesn’t have the same weapons to throw at this year, leaving him at No. 15 in passing DVOA – one spot behind Tennessee’s Ryan Tannehill, whom we’ll discuss shortly.

Why Are the Patriots Valuable?

The Patriots almost certainly won’t have QB Mac Jones (No. 22 DVOA) under center because of a high-ankle sprain, but Brian Hoyer is a competent veteran who can fill that “game manager” role just fine.

And Hoyer probably won’t have to deal with CB Jaire Alexander (groin), although Alexander is listed as day-to-day for the Packers.

NFL Pick: Patriots (+375) at BetMGM


Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis Colts

Sunday, October 02, 2022 – 01:00 PM EDT at Lucas Oil Stadium


Maybe Tannehill isn’t washed up just yet? He’s had his ups and downs throughout his career, and he’s taken a lot of flak from the peanut gallery, but so far in 2022, Tannehill has performed at a league-average level, which should be enough for the 1-2 Titans to succeed.

The stranger thing about Tennessee is their No. 26-ranked defense. That’s down from No. 12 last year, but it might be a simple case of small sample size; the Titans did have to play the amazing Bills in Week 2.

Why Are the Titans Valuable?

The 1-1-1 Colts aren’t quite that amazing. At No. 30 overall (No. 32 offense, No. 13 defense), they’re actually below No. 26 Tennessee on the overall DVOA charts.

And QB Matt Ryan might indeed be washed. He’s ahead of only one player in passing DVOA: Chicago’s Justin Fields. Woof.

NFL Pick: Titans (+160) at Bet365


Washington Commanders vs. Dallas Cowboys

Sunday, October 02, 2022 – 01:00 PM EDT at AT&T Stadium


The Cowboys were supposed to be toast after QB Dak Prescott broke his thumb in their season-opening loss to Tampa Bay. Instead, Cooper Rush has led Dallas to back-to-back victories. Rush is even No. 8 in passing DVOA, ahead of Chargers QB Justin Herbert.

It might be smoke and mirrors. Beating the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 2 was impressive, given their strong defense; beating the New York Giants in Week 3, less so.

Why Are the Commanders Valuable?

As it stands, Rush and the Cowboys are No. 6 (No. 15 offense, No. 8 defense) on this week’s DVOA charts, and they’re facing the league-worst Commanders (No. 29 offense, No. 29 defense), where QB Carson Wentz has struggled to put his stamp on the newly branded Football Team.

It’s not encouraging. Wentz is No. 26 in passing DVOA among qualifying quarterbacks, behind Pittsburgh’s Mitch Trubisky and Jets QB Joe Flacco. But again, this could be a matter of small sample size. Wentz is still getting used to his new teammates; these things can take time.

In any case, this football pick is more about fading Rush after two wins that might prove to be anomalies. Bet accordingly, and may the prolate spheroid be with you.

NFL Pick: Commanders (+156) at SBK

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